Filing a Personal Injury Claim in South Dakota
When you are injured or lose a loved one because of someone else’s careless, negligent, or wrongful actions, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and seek financial compensation for your losses. At Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, we understand that taking legal action after a serious accident or injury can be daunting, which is why our firm is here to help you through every stage of the process.
We follow a team-based approach when it comes to investigating claims, gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing our clients at trial—when you choose Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, you don’t just get one attorney working on your case; you get an entire legal team dedicated to you and your recovery.
When you are facing a legal matter, you need a team that is not only focused on your success, but that is also committed to providing honest & trustworthy legal counsel.
When you hire one attorney at our firm, you get our full team. Rather than just one set of eyes and knowledge on your case, you have decades of experience advocating on your behalf.
The Beardsley, Jensen & Lee team is not only not afraid to take your case to trial, but they are also the most equipped to get you the highest settlement and result.
Over 100 Years of Experience
Our team of dedicated attorneys has over 100 years of knowledge and experience to put on your side.
Determining If You Have Grounds for a Personal Injury Case
Not every injury serves as grounds for a personal injury case—some are truly the result of unpreventable, blameless accidents. Most accidents, however, result from the careless or reckless conduct of others. To bring a personal injury case under the legal theory of negligence (which is most often the case), you must prove that someone else acted negligently or wrongfully.
Specifically, you must prove the following four elements:
- Duty of Care: The first step in bringing a personal injury claim is proving that another person/party owed you a duty of care. Essentially, this means that they had a legal responsibility to act reasonably and avoid causing you injury or harm.
- Breach: Next, you must establish that the other person or party that owed you the duty of care failed to uphold it. The breach of the duty of care is typically where the negligent or wrongful act becomes relevant in most personal injury cases.
- Causation: Another critical element in a successful personal injury claim, you must prove causation. In other words, you must prove that the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of your injuries and/or damages.
- Damages: Lastly, you can only bring a personal injury claim for damages if you can prove that you did, in fact, suffer damages. “Damages” refers to any economic and/or non-economic losses you suffered due to the breach of the duty of care.
Some cases, such as certain product liability cases, fall under the legal theory of strict liability. In contrast to negligence-based cases, you do not need to prove that anyone acted carelessly, recklessly, or wrongfully to bring a personal injury claim on strict liability grounds.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Personal Injury Claim?
The purpose of filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit is to seek financial compensation for your associated losses, referred to as “damages.” These damages can be economic or non-economic, meaning they can have a specific dollar value, or they can be more intangible in nature.
Some common damages people recover in personal injury claims include:
- Medical bills
- Hospital and ambulance fees
- Medication and medical equipment costs
- Future medical costs
- Lost income/wages
- Future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Disability/lost earning capacity
- Lost quality of life
Every case is different, and the specific details of your situation will determine which damages you may be entitled to recover. To learn more about the potential value of your case, we recommend that you contact our Rapid City personal injury lawyers and request a free initial consultation.
How Beardsley, Jensen & Lee Can Help
Getting back on your feet after an unexpected accident or serious injury can be extremely difficult. At Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, our goal is to help you navigate the legal process and recover the maximum compensation you are owed. You should not have to suffer the devastating, life-altering consequences of someone else’s negligence on your own, and we can help you fight for the justice you deserve.
We represent clients in and around Rapid City in a variety of personal injury matters, including cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability
- Wrongful death
We also represent injured workers with all aspects of workers’ compensation, from filing initial claims to appealing denials of benefits.
We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees for all personal injury matters. This means you do not owe any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses, and our attorneys are only paid if they recover compensation for you.
Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you with your personal injury case: (605) 777-7466.
Q:Do I really need a personal injury lawyer?
A:There is no law requiring you to hire a lawyer after suffering an injury, however it is usually in your best interests to do so. In a perfect world, the responsible party’s insurance company would pay you for the full value of your losses up to the limits of your policy without any sort of pushback. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Personal injury claims are complex and must be proven with strong evidence. An attorney who understands the legal system can help you level the playing field, avoid costly errors, and maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
Q:How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in South Dakota?
A:Most personal injury lawsuits in South Dakota are subject to a three-year statute of limitations, meaning you typically have until the third anniversary of the accident or incident that caused you harm. If your accident or injury case involves the potential liability of a government agency or employee, this deadline is shortened to one year. If you attempt to file a lawsuit in court after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will almost certainly be dismissed and you will effectively lose your ability to recover compensation. Since complying with the statute of limitations can make or break your claim, it is urgent you act quickly and get an attorney involved early on in your case.
Q:I’m partially at fault for my injuries. Do I still have a case?
A:Potentially, yes. South Dakota operates under a “comparative fault” system for handling cases in which an injured person shares some blame for the accident or injury. If you are found to be partially liable, the amount of compensation you recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are injured and suffer $100,000 worth of damages but are found to be 30% at fault, you would still be eligible to recover $70,000 (or $100,000 less 30%).
Q:How can I afford a personal injury attorney?
A:Nobody should be denied quality legal representation after a sudden accident or injury due to their inability to pay. At Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, we accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no costs to you unless we are successful in handling your case. This ensures our interests are aligned with yours and allows you to focus on your physical recovery with peace of mind.